Published: Fri, February 21, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Olympia woman who was stuck on Diamond Princess cruise ship contracts coronavirus

Olympia woman who was stuck on Diamond Princess cruise ship contracts coronavirus

They both died Thursday, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, which is leading and coordinating the public health response on board the cruise ship.

TOKYO-Two passengers from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship moored near Tokyo have died, public broadcaster NHK said on Thursday, as a second group of passengers began disembarking after two-weeks quarantined onboard.

On Thursday, an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, both of Japanese nationality and with previous health complications, became the first two victims of COVID-19 among the Diamond Princess passengers.

The victims have not been publicly named.

People with symptoms of the coronavirus will not be allowed to leave, and those who have tested positive will be treated in Japan, he added.

Japan has well over half the known cases outside China due to the ship infections and the rapid spread of the virus and the quarantine operation has sparked criticism of authorities just months before Tokyo is due to host the Summer Olympics.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the novel coronavirus in China has gone up to 2,236 with 118 more casualties reported, mostly from the hard-hit Hubei province, while the overall confirmed infection cases have climbed to 75,465, Chinese health officials said on Friday.

As for the first 213 Canadian evacuees and their families who have served out their two week quarantine at CFB Trenton, they are scheduled to be released Friday. Another in close contact with that person remains under quarantine.

About 440 passengers had left the ship by Wednesday evening, and Japanese officials said more than 1,000 others will be gone by Friday.

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A boatload of Australians stuck on a ship afflicted by the coronavirus will spend another 14 days in quarantine, with Qantas to fly them from Japan to Darwin.

The Japanese government started removing passengers from the ship this week and by Wednesday at least 500 were off the ship.

About 180 Australian passengers on the Diamond Princess were evacuated by a special Qantas flight yesterday.

They had already been quarantined on the Diamond Princess in Yokohama for two weeks, effectively leaving them confined for nearly a month.

None of the 16 newly hospitalized former passengers had confirmed CDC tests, so the federal agency was not saying they were positive for coronavirus.

"In a continued effort to support our #DiamondPrincess guests and crew, our President Jan Swartz personally welcomed those disembarking in Yokohama today", the video's caption says.

"We need the understanding of companies to keep the virus from spreading", Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference.

Earlier in the week, the United States evacuated more than 300 nationals on two chartered flights.

Another cruise ship called the MS Westerdam was stranded at sea for two weeks after five ports turned it away for fear of infections on board, until Cambodia granted it permission to dock on February 13.

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